Good morning!! I hope you’re feeling up and at it this lovely Thursday!
I am getting a very late (well late for me) start to the day because I went on my date last night. We had Sangria at a really cute place and sat outside, and then walked around town for a little while. It was so much fun and I didn’t go to bed until late. Exciting, no!?
This is an off workout day. I am loving taking Tuesdays and Thursday off instead of a weekend day. I feel like I am always getting an off day that way! But that means today I can relax, write, and study.
I also chose today as a time to go on a 14-day “Back to Basics” diet. So far I’m doing great sticking to a healthy and realistic way of eating. I hope I will reach my goal by my birthday (or at least get close enough to not mind a few pounds here or there because I feel so good) but I’d like to ramp it up a notch for two weeks. I think I’m eating a bit too much fruit and not enough fat; I’ve also been eating more processed food like soup and tortilla chips than I’d like. So…I am following the Fat Flush Plan which I have used before to amazing success.
This book was recommended to me by my former boss, who is, in all honesty, Barbie. She taught me about everything from boys to diamonds (both work-related diamonds and just girls-best-friend diamonds), and we naturally spent a lot of time talking about diets and weight loss. She said she did this plan before her wedding and was amazed with the results (and with her looks, you’re kind of like, wait, you had a pound to lose!?!), so I decided to check it out.
I read the whole book, and I’m glad I did. It’s by Anne Louise Gittleman, and I like her perspective. She’s all about whole foods and no artificial stuff. This woman finally made me take that seriously and give up Diet Coke. I also like how her book is tailored to women’s bodies; she talks a lot about our hormones and what organs play the biggest role in weight loss. (I did not know the liver was so important! Um, sorry for the tequila problem, little one. And the beer/wine/vodka problem…) She talks about how medications can affect you, the importance of healthy fats, and so many other things that made me really interested in following her diet. So after a trip home for graduation that left me feeling horrible about the things I had put in my body (beer/wine/vodka/tequila/copious amounts of Ranch dressing and bagels), I decided to try it out!
The two week plan is very…organized. I followed it to the letter, but I think following it even 75 percent would probably result in some big changes. At first glance, it seems like a lot to take in, but then I realized it’s pretty simple. It’s basically clean eating of protein, fruits, veggies, herbs, and some fats (flax seed oil) for two weeks, eating five times a day. You don’t eat sugar, fake sugar, salt, alcohol, wheat, or dairy, because for a lot of people, these are allergens and by going without for two weeks, you can get a good idea of how they affect your body. A lot of people said the plan was really tough, but it wasn’t to me. You’re allowed smoothies, two whole eggs a day, and two fruits — a lot of “jump start” plans cut those things. The fact was, I’d been on diets that were pretty much Deprivation City before, so this seemed like a ton of food to me; also, I never got too hungry.
One major element is the cran-water that you drink every day, all day. It’s a mixture of 4 ounces of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice and 28 ounces of water. It is harder to find than you’d think, because most grocery stores have it made from concentrate. Knudsen’s makes it, and that’s widely available but it’s pricey. Trader Joe’s has it and it’s cheaper there than anywhere else; I think you need four jugs for the 14 days, but I’m not 100 percent sure. She has you drinking it in 8 ounce glasses throughout the day because cranberry juice is good at helping the liver function well and cleaning up cellulite. It also helps reduce the risk of UTIs, so that’s a bonus! In the morning and evening you drink it with some ground flax seed mixed in for a fiber kick. (You can also use psyllium husk. I did that for two weeks and it’s terrible tasting; flax seeds are nutty and so much better tasting.)
The book contains a lot of recipes, and I tried many of them. It definitely helped my cooking skills, because eating protein and veggies can get a little boring and you have to try it different ways! I started using organic no-salt-added organic diced tomatoes a LOT (from Muir Glen or TJ’s), I started cooking pork chops, I experimented with tons of herbs and spices — all good things for my cooking repertoire!
Now, this is how this plan works on your body. Day 1 goes quickly. You’re like, Oh, hmm, what can I eat? This isn’t so bad! Then Day 2 is relatively the same, but you might really want something like Baked Lays or a latte. You’ll get through it, wake up on Day 3, look in the mirror, and say, “Holy shit.” Your stomach will be so much flatter, you’ll honestly be shocked. You’ll want to take measurements before — I lost three inches from my waist right off the bat. I was eating a ton but my stomach just was completely flat. The diet just seriously cuts bloat and if, after the 14 days are up, you continue with a healthy, normal eating plan (she has Phase II and Phase III in the book which are just based on simple, healthy, whole foods and allow for normal treats), you won’t gain weight back. The cran-water does really help with the cellulite too; I was pretty surprised because I didn’t give that much thought at first, but my thighs were way smoother and more toned-looking! She also recommends some fatty acid supplements that I did (and still do) take, but I wouldn’t freak out if you can’t take them for whatever reason.
Toward the end I got a little food bored and was excited to be able to eat more foods, but, like I said, I didn’t get hungry at any point. I was able to go to boot camp classes and not feel at all weak. The high protein factor helps, but toward the end, I was a little sick of it and definitely wanted more plant proteins.
You eat five times a day, plus drink a lot of cran-water, so that’s why I say it requires some planning. I did it at a time when I wouldn’t be too distracted or eating out a lot; it’s not impossible to do at any time, but it’s not something I’d attempt, like, the week before Christmas.
In all, I lost about 5 pounds in two weeks and 5 inches off my waist. But for me, it really helped me get back into a healthy, balanced eating pattern. I followed Phase II for a week and now try to keep Phase III in mind most of the time. I’ve had great success with this style of eating: five meals a day, fiber, whole grains, fats, etc. It’s not a “quick fix,” because you aren’t starving yourself and if you go back to eating shit on Day 15, it’s going to catch up to you, but it can help you see results in a short amount of time that will motivate you to stick with a healthy style of eating.
Normally, I am wary of anything that cuts out food groups, but here’s why I am OK with this plan: it wasn’t until going off dairy I realized how much it affected me. Now I know that yogurt and kefir are really the only kinds my stomach can handle, and cheese and milk need to be kept to a minimum. It’s only for 14 days, so you’re not going to have any major adverse effects. (If you’re worried about calcium, take a supplement, and don’t freak out–most of our bone formation happens during the teen years. Also, recommendations for dairy intake and its benefits for bones are highly debatable and a lot of the research comes out of the dairy industry.) I also cut my psychological addiction to carbs. I realized I can skip carbs at breakfast and still feel full till lunch!
The 14 days were fine for me last time, but this time I might just do it for seven…it depends on my social life! But every day that I follow it, I feel extemely balanced and healthy. You may notice in the meals that I post in the next few days, they might be a little different, but honestly, the changes are so small.
I started my day off with cran-water, a cup of hot water with lemon (a nice gentle way to start the morning that she recommends), and a smoothie: cran water, protein powder, a cup of peaches, and flax seed oil. It was nice and creamy and dreamy. Now I’m off to do some laundry and see what we’ve got going on today!
Have a great day!